Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A Visit to the Kennecott Copper Mine

Saturday we were on our way home from the Salt Lake City airport and we decided to stop off at the Kennecott Copper Mine and take advantage of their last free admission day.

The Kennecott Copper Mine is the largest man-made excavation on earth. Even this photo doesn't really give you an accurate idea of how HUGE it is!

The mine is 2-3/4 miles across at the top and 3/4 of a mile deep. At the visitor's center we learned that the mine is so big, it can be seen by the space shuttle astronauts as they pass over the United States!

The boys thought it was fun to stand on the overlook and watch the trucks working below. I personally thought the terraced rock walls all around the sides of the mine were interesting to look at.

I have to agree with the boys-- the trucks were pretty awesome too. I would like to have seen one up close. You can see that the trucks actually have a ladder on the front so the operator can climb up to the cab! We learned that trucks that haul the copper ore are larger than many houses and weigh more than a jumbo jet. They stand over 23 feet tall and can carry from 255 to 360 tons of rock.

Can you imaging trying to drive one of those trucks around? We didn't get to climb on or walk around one of them, but we did get to stand next to one of the tires.

You definitely don't want to get in front of one of these truck tires! Yikes!

They also had some really cool giant electric shovels. They can scoop up as much as 98 tons in a single bite -- about the weight of 50 cars!

The boys had a great time at the copper mine. It was definitely a wonderland for little boys, and this Mommy actually enjoyed it too! We all loved watching all the equipment in action and it was definitely a site worth seeing!

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  1. OH! I saw that place when I was in Utah! It's impressive and huge!

  2. I remember seeing that, let's just say a really, really long time ago when I was a little girl. Thanks for the memory. It was truly awesome to stay with me this long.

  3. so cool. I bet the boys had a blast going there

  4. What a great place. I am sure that boys just LOVED it.

  5. Why didn't you tell me they had free tour days???? I would have gone in a heartbeat! You are banished now! Oh-we have to go to $2 Tuesdays at Thanksgiving Point again.

  6. I can't believe I've never been there before. Next time we visit my parents, it's going on my list for sure...

  7. We have several mines here, but I dont think they are that big!

  8. What a monstrous dig! It reminded me of the stepped rice fields in the Philippines, albeit a barren version...

  9. Awesome pics! I love stuff like this! A few weeks ago I posted about fossil hunting and the piles of rock were from a mine. So this is VERY cool to me! And that tire is HUGE!